Originally an early 19th century French design movement that included art, architecture and decorative arts, the Empire design indicated a return to the luxury and regality of the old French courts. Though many pieces from the period achieved an understated version of sumptuousness through simplicity – for instance, smooth surfaces created through exotic wood veneers – others were extensively ornamented with gilded motifs such as laurel leaves and wreaths, cornucopias and sheaves of grain. Additionally, there were consistent references to ancient civilizations through classical Greco-Roman and Egyptian silhouettes and motifs. Empire furniture and décor pieces were largely symmetrical and prioritized comfort equally with aesthetic; seating was often lushly upholstered and proportioned as well as decorated with ornate carvings. The success of the Empire aesthetic in France led to its adoption abroad, including in America, where it was modified to suit its own national preferences. (text by Sotheby's Home)
Molded plaster brackets.
Rocaille design supported shelf.
Previously restored. Various chips and cracks on paint and plaster. Natural aging and wear.
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